The Cooking Runner

The cooking runner pedicure lover

Miles run this month: 12.3 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 2000.7 miles

I think I might change my name to the one listed above!!!!!.

Met my SIL’s (yes I have a lot of SIL’s–3 soon to be 4, and yes I have seen them a lot in the past 60 days) for a pedicure this morning. We went to GL Nails in Grand Haven… um I will be returning. $25 and you get a massage chair, a pedicure, a leg rub that lasted FOREVER, and a paint job. Let me tell you how good a calf and foot rub feels after a long run…So the bad part? This is my second pedicure in less than a month… this can NOT become a habit…I will be broke.IMG_0520[1]

Since it was a rest day for me, well I will be riding bike later, so not a true rest day, but, any-who, I decided to cook. Get ready for picture city…

So I am going to call this…

Garlic chicken ravioli in a brown butter sauce

Basic Pasta Dough:

2 cups cake flour

4 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons EVOO

1/2 water

Blend all ingredients in electric mixer with dough hook. IMG_0504[1]You can do this by hand too. Keep blending until dough is smooth and elastic about 10 minutes. Add flour as needed. Once elastic, wrap dough in plastic and let it sit at room temp for an hour.    *** When you are cleaning up, wash everything in cold water to remove the dough, then in warm water as usual. The warm water activates the gluten in the dough and makes clean up a little more difficult.***

Ravioli filling

1 large chicken breast

2 medium shallots

1 clove garlic

1 tsp truffle salt

3 tablespoons truffle parmsean cheese ( you can use regular parmesean and add truffle oil to it)

1/4 c chardonnay

Cook the chicken in a pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4 cup Chardonnay. Once it is cook through chop it up and add it to the other ingredients in a large saute’ pan. Saute’ until the garlic and shallots are tender. (about 5 minutes) Remove from heat. IMG_0509[1]


Using a pasta machine, start at 1 and work your way to 5. 5 is the perfect thickness for ravioli dough. Assemble the ravioli with about 1 tablespoon of filling. Using a ravioli cutter, seal the edges. Transfer to a plate and repeat until all the dough is gone. IMG_0510[1]IMG_0511[1]

Bring a pot of water, with a little salt and olive oil, to a boil. Drop ravioli into pot and cook for about 3 minutes or until they float. If you do not properly seal the ravioli, all the ingredients will come out when you boil them.

Remove from water and place in a large saute’ pan. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and saute’ until the edges start to brown. IMG_0516[1]

Top with chopped basil and fresh parmeasan cheese and  pour yourself a glass of that Chardonnay you used earlier.

I used Hawthorn Chardonnay from Traverse City area. K and I visited this winery/tasting room a week after it opened. They were only tasting 3 wines at the time, but they have something good going on!!!

Not my picture :-)

Not my picture 🙂

Leave a comment »

Date Night with Brie

Ran 5 miles with Sasha…

YAY for date night! We went to Hearthstone in Muskegon. It is one of those places that no matter when you go and what you have, it is guaranteed to be delicious. The dress is a Ralph Lauren, found it on super sale…It is awesome. IMG_0326[1]Predate started with a bottle of sparkling Traminette. It is called   “Sweet Nancie.” It is a sparkling Traminette, with flavors of peach, pineapple and lemon zest. It is a new wine this year introduced by St. Julian Winery. Pretty good.IMG_0327[1]When we arrived at the Hearthstone, there was a 45 minute wait. We decided to sit in the lounge and have appetizers with some wine. We had baked brie with salted caramel glaze and candied pecans. We got a bottle of french red. IMG_0323[1]For dinner I had steak and shrimp with a lobster cream sauce. It was so good. For dessert we have proliferates filled with peppermint ice cream,IMG_0324[1]IMG_0322[1]

Here is my recipe for Baked Brie

One round of Brie

Damson Plum jelly

Preheat the oven to 350*. Place the round of Brie on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Do not pierce or crack the mold on the brie. This hold the melted cheese together. Smear the plum jam on top of the Brie. Bake in the over for about 10 minutes.

Serve warm with plain water crackers.

Leave a comment »

Girls Weekend part Deux… Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!

Leelanau Penisula was not quite what I was expecting. The views we saw were a little run down, rude people, and less than mediocre wineries. All that aside, we had to try the new winery, Blustone

Once one the property, WOW! It was gorgeous. Rolling hills with grapes vines running all over, yeah…. When we finally got up to the tasting room, I thought another big wow…

The tasting room is gorgeous. When you walk in there is a modern gas fireplace and floor to ceiling windows all over looking out over the vineyards. I was wow’d… until they handed me the tasting glass. Not only was it dirty, but it was all scratched. You would think that a brand new winery would have brand new glasses. The last wine we tried was a cherry port… then the owner whipped out the dark chocolate…(the Hallelujah chorus)

It was really good. So then we went to L. Mawby…ehhh I perfer drinking their wines at the Signature Room in the John Hancock building as opposed to their tasting room (nothing to get excited about). I know their sparkling wine is good though. So after a mediocre let down on Leelanua, we serveyed our wine stash…and figured it was time to eat. We at North Peak, super yummy!!! We did some shopping downtown Traverse City, and then checked into out hotel room. We couldnt decide where we wanted to go for dinner. We were all that hungry and we noticed a Fro-yo shop when we were walking…SugarKissed

It is so bright and cheery in there…and the yogurt was AMAZING!!!! Way to go girls!!!


So after a fun filled day we hit the hay. The following day we did ore shopping and headed home…What a fabulous girls weekend!!!




Leave a comment »

Are you reading Santa?

Did my 3 uneventful, miles this morning, stopped by the Cheese Lady and got some yummies for the plane ride (She is having her holiday open house… go sample some amazing goodies!!!)went to work, and made a fabulous dinner…whew what a day…

 Just had to add a picture of my new hat, which I love…totally random.

Lately I have been experiencing way too much lactic acid build up in my legs. Can’t figure out why so I have been keeping track of what i have been eating/drinking in my nifty dollar store journal only a buck… no, it does not have the motivational sayings and the totally awesome layout of this one from Believe(which I hoping Santa will bring it for me…hint hint Santa) but, hey, the dollar store one was only $1 so no complaining here. So ATS told me I need to lay off the coffee…well that is not going to happen since I am totally addicted. So I thought I would give it a shot anyways. Instead of a pot of coffee this morning (I told you I was addicted, I have a problem… it just taste so good) I only had one cup before my run (I had the rest afterwards…HA) and I had two pieces of toast before I headed out the door… (magical chimes)  It worked…something worked!!!! No lactic acid build up on today’s run! Let’s see if tomorrow’s run proves the same.

Since we are going on vacation, we have zero food, so I threw something together that I thought would sound good…well it tasted even better! I am not sure what to call it so we will call it the awesome mushroom bean concoction. To top off the awesomeness, I found a bottle of wine in the wine rack that was the perfect accompliment…  (Holy Yellow Photo Batman…Kim, I need your help!)

Awesome Mushroom Bean concoction

1 medium shallot

2 cloves of garlic

1 c chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup white wine, I used Traminette

1 can navy beans

1 cup chopped chicken

olive oil

Tuscan seasoning from Penzy’s


Sautee the garlic and shallots in olive oil until tender. Add the mushrooms, white wine, Tuscan seasoning, a dash of salt, and a little more olive oil. Sautee until the mushrooms are tender. You may need to add more white wine. After rinsing the navy bean in cool water, add them to the mixture.

In a separate pan, add the chicken, tuscan sunset seasoning and a little live oil. Cook chicken until done.

Add chicken to mushroom mixture and simmer for 10  minutes, stirring constantly.

Yum… enjoy folks!!

Do you ever get lactic acid build up when you run?

What are your tips and tricks?

Leave a comment »

On My Soap Box…

I had one of those crazy style days…which means I was pretty much a hot mess ALL DAY…well until I got to the AUCADO rescue where I volunteer. Then I had my rescue puppies run up to me and love on me… so happy to see me, and my day got better…

What is AUCADO?

It is an amazing rescue specifically for Australian Cattle dogs.

What is an Australian Cattle dog?

My two Aussies

I had the same question when ATS told me that was the dog we were getting. The Australian Cattle dog originated in Australia (imagine that) and were (and still are) used to drive cattle. This means that they have been bread to do a job. This means that they are one of the most brilliant dogs on Earth. This also means they have more energy than you will ever imagine. They are also known for the strong bond they form with their “Person” and will protect that person and their possessions (other family members) no matter the challenge. After learning what the cattle dog was about, and meeting Sonny and Sasha, I will have a cattle dog the rest of my life.

The Australian Cattle Dog has been ranked one of the best dogs for active, outdoor-sy people. There is a reason. These dogs have to be moving. A tired cattle dog is a happy owner. They need to be run or hiked, or they need a specific job, such as a service dog or herding, or even chewing a chew. Anything as long as they are not bored. Before ATS deployed last year, unannounced to me, he had a “chat” with Sonny. He told Sonny to watch after me and not let me out of his sight. Well Sonny followed me EVERYWHERE, the basement, upstairs, to the bathroom…EVERYWHERE. I talked to ATS and told him about Sonny, that was when ATS said he had a little “chat” with him. I was Sonny’s job.

When you abandon a cattle dog, they are heart broken. They need “their person”. To look into the eyes of a cattle dog the first days at the rescue are horrible. You can see the pain, you can see the hurt they are going through. They are not full of energy, they are moping around with their head down wondering what they did wrong. It takes anywhere from a few days to a few months for them to realize that they will find a new person to love. This is where the rescue is so important. I walk, play, and smooch on the dogs when I have the chance. I feel it renews their spirit in knowing that there really are good people out there. The two women who run the Ohio and Michigan chapters of AUCADO are amazing women. They work with the dogs morning, noon, and night. They eat, breath, and sleep cattle dog.  The dogs at AUDACO are so spoiled, so loved, they are treated as if they are in their forever homes. Because of the awesomeness of these two ladies, and the spirit behind AUCADO, I will be helping out forever. With the holidays coming up, if you are looking for an amazing cause to support, think about AUCADO!!!! Check out the website!!!

Please do your research before deciding on a Australian Cattle Dog, or any dog for that matter. Yes, cattle dogs are so incredibly adorable and full of personality, but that is only one of the reasons to have one. DO YOUR RESEARCH ON THE BREED!!!!

Ok I am off my soap box 🙂 Time for a glass of wine and roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts for dinner!

Roasted Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts—Taken from my mom-in-law

1 head cauliflower

1 bag brussel sprouts

Olive oil

Seasoning Salt (recommendation Beyond the Shaker)

Cut up the Cauliflower into bite size pieces and put into a very large bowl.

Clean the Brussel Sprouts and mix with cauliflower pieces.

Drizzle olive oil and seasoning salt over veggies.

Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake at 375* for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower starts to brown and the brussel sprouts start to become tender.



The Wine is Phantom from Bogle Vineyards…super good

Source: Bogle Vineyards website

Leave a comment »

A little Pinot, A little Christmas music, yeah I am THAT girl…

So the day was uneventful until grocery shopping. A great big THANK YOU to the lady in the Lexus SUV that cut me off to get a close spot… YOU ROCK!!!  An especially big “YOU ROCK” because you were in front of me in the check out lane carrying your Fabulous Coach purse and your kid was wearing designer duds, but you paid with your WIC card (for those of you who are not in Michigan, that is food stamps)… WTH???

On the bright side I have to give a serious “YOU ROCK” to the check out girl at the grocery store. I was buying wine to cook dinner and my driver’s license fell out of my purse. So when the time came and she said “Can I see your ID” I gladly…oh damn I don’t have it. She said “I can’t sell this to you” I said, “Do I really look like I am under 21?” The wonderful, classy, super awesome check out girl said, “No you don’t look 40… I can’t sell to anyone under 40 without an ID.” THANK YOU CHICA!!!!!

SO had to stop at the party store on the way home because my driver’s license was sitting on my front seat.

Dinner tonight was Curried Venison Pot Pie….so good… and I found a white wine that I actually like!!!! You can substitute beef or lamb for the venison.

Curried Venison Adapted from Food and Wine magazine, (I changed a couple things.)

  1. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2 cubed venison
  3. Salt
  4. Freshly ground pepper
  5. 1 medium onion, chopped
  6. 2 teaspoons curry powder
  7. 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  8. 1 cup dry white wine (I used Pino Grigio)
  9. 1 cup chicken stock
  10. 2 cups peeled butternut squash, cut into 1-inch dice (10 ounces)
  11. 2 cups chopped Tuscan kale
  12. 1 medium carrot, chopped
  13. 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  14. 1 large egg lightly beaten
  15. Puff Pastry
  1. MAKE THE CURRY In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season the venison with salt and pepper and add half to the casserole. Cook over high heat until browned on 2 sides, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the venison to a bowl; repeat with 1 more tablespoon of oil and the remaining venison. Pour off the oil in the casserole.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the venison to the casserole. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the wine until smooth. Add the stock and bring to a boil, stirring, until thickened, 1 minute. Cover and simmer over low heat until the venison is very tender, 1 hour.
  3. Add the squash, kale, and carrot to the casserole and simmer over moderately low heat until the vegetables are tender, 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and let cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spoon the curry into a buttered 8-by-11-inch baking dish. Brush the dish rim with beaten egg. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 14-by-12-inch rectangle. Fold the pastry in half, unfold it over the curry, and gently press onto the edge of the dish. Brush with beaten egg; cut 4 small steam vents in the top.
  5. Bake for about 40  minutes or until pastry puff is a warm gold brown. 

The wine I used were

Chatueau Grand Traverse Pinto Grigio

Bogle Vineyards Phantom

While I was cooking… yeah I am that girl who is already listening to Christmas music. Hey, it puts me in a better mood!!! Then my sister told me she is listening to it too… I am not the only one!!!!

Leave a comment »

Oh Napa Valley….how I miss you

After two days of hard runs, I had to take today off. I woke up with super sore quads. So a 3 mile walk with the puppies was all I could do!

A year ago, my awesome SIL     and I went to a wine industry trade show in Napa Valley. We did a little wine tasting too! If you ever have the chance to go to Napa Valley….GO!!!! I personally liked Napa better than Sonoma, but fun was had by all!!! A couple suggestions are Micheal Mondavi Winery, Clif Family Winery, and Domaine Chandon. When we were at Domaine Chandon, we signed up for Club Chandon. They have all different types of shipments you can pick from. The winery itself has a wonderful gift shop. We found hand lotion, Olivina Fig, that is made by the gods…it smells like Napa Valley, or if Napa had a smell!!! It is a little pricey, but in my opinion well worth the splurge. Check it out! the scent comes in a candle too, my house smells of it right now! The Cliff Family Winery made me think of my husband. He races road and mountain bikes, crazy style (so do his buddies…Kerri, I found this and had to post it!). The entire tasting room is all about cycling. They have wine in a bag called the Climber Pouch… 2 bottles of wine that will maintain freshness if for some odd reason you do not finish them. That would mean you would have left over wine, I am not really sure what that is, but apparently it exists.

However, I have to be true to my school, Traverse City is in heavy competition with Napa Valley… Girls weekend in t minus 3 weeks and counting… I will let you know who wins…

If you are not making a trip out west anytime soon (I am not 😦 ) You can order all these yummy treats online off the winery websites!

Leave a comment »

Lamb because of a screaming kid

The thought at the grocery store at 4pm, after work, ad-mist a screaming kid (not mine, my future children would never do that!) “God I need a glass of wine”…and then I saw lamb chops in the butcher case… Broiled herb lamb chops with tarragon smashed potatoes, and roasted maple glazed acorn squash…boom… dinner.

I am that good…

I just randomly think of amazing dinners, with a perplexed look on my face, while staring at raw lamb chops…(the butcher at Meijer better not blow my cover!)

Got home, poured the wine in the decanter, because a red has to breath to be good (or so I have been told)… and I needed a glass Then I put all the groceries away!

Herb Lamb Chops

Parsley, thyme rosemary and sage…Equal parts of all 4

4 lamb chops

Ground Pepper

Olive oil

In a shallow casserole dish, pour enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Sprinkle all the herbs in equal amounts. Using a pepper grinder, grind three turns of pepper on to the herbs. Place the lamp chop in the herbs, then flip to coat both sides with herb mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, place the lamb chops in a parchment paper lines baking dish. Broil on high for 3 minutes each side. This will give you med rare done-ness. If you want them done more add a minute or so to each side. Watch carefully!!!!

Smash Tarragon Potatoes

3 medium size baking potatoes

fresh tarragon

1 shallot

truffle salt

Microwave potatoes until mushy…( I hit the potato button 3 times since I have 3 potatoes…what has this world come to?), cut into pieces. Add a little Brummel and Brown (or butter)  and mash. Chop a tarrgon and shallots, and add to taste. Sprinkle a small amount of truffle salt.

Roasted Maple Glazed Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash cut in half and cleaned.

1 tablespoon of Brummel and Brown or butter

1 tablespoon real maple syrup

Cut a small flat spot on the bottom of each half so the halves don’t roll around. Be careful not to cut into the squash, you want a “bowl”. Place the halves in a parchment lined baking dish.  Put a tablespoon of Brummel and Brown or butter into each half and 1 tablespoon of real maple syrup into each half. Place in a 350* oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, using a spoon, spoon the butter and syrup mixture over the top edges of the squash. cook another 15 minutes. Allow halves to cool a little before eating.

ATS sat down at the table and asked, “what’s the occasion?” My response “Because I love you and I am writing a food and running blog.” ATS, “<a small laugh> I love your Blog”. Me: “hahaha you are so not funny…”

After a rest day to recover from the dunes, I have a hill workout tomorrow…I will let you know how that goes because this Malbec is amazing!


2011 Trivento Reserve Malbec Argentina

Enjoy folks!!!

Leave a comment »

Gourmet Italian Lunch in a mental hospital…

…and let me tell you, it is one of my favorite restaurants of all time!

Instead of waking up and running the dunes this morning, we spent the day in Traverse City. (which is a different kind of fun than running dunes!)  For those of you that do not know where Traverse City is, it is just east of the most beautiful place in the country! Yes, it was a year ago, but nothing has changed… we went there today too.

Getting back to TC…We found this wonderful jewelry maker, Becky Thatcher Designs. AMAZING work! We drove to her Glen Arbor location to chat with her. After our hour long chat, Adam was handed a pair of earrings to give to his wonderful wife…Thanks Becky!!! (yeah I felt the tears well up.  I am that girl… that cries about everything, even gorgeous earrings!)

We had lunch at our favorite spot, a mental hospital. Ok, ok, it is not a mental hospital anymore, but it used to be! The Traverse City State Hospital or Northern Michigan Asylum was built in 1885.

Before medicinal therapies were used, it was thought that you could use beauty as therapy.   The grounds of this building are GORGEOUS. Currently, the main hospital is 75% restored. The entire “village”  is one of the largest, historic preservation and adaptive reuse redevelopments in the country. It now houses restaurants, a day spa, boutiques, and condos. Not sure about the condos though…kinda creepy! We had lunch at Trattoria Stella…one word…yum. 

This is what ATS ate, but I had an amazing porcini cream soup. For dessert we had squash gelato and raspberry honey gelato. Squash gelto you ask? YES… it tasted like a sweet potato casserole in gelato form. It was so good. ( side note… I spilled an entire glass of ice water all over the table… yet again, I am that girl…that only needs one glass of wine to be a hot mess!)

Wines Tried: Talismon Brut, L.Mawby Winery

                           Late Harvest Riesling, Blustone Vineyards 

The perfect end to a perfect day!

Leave a comment »


Team Awesome? I'm on it.